Manhattan decadence in the 1920's provides the backdrop for this tough musical fable. Queenie, a vaudeville chorine, hosts the blow-out of the title with her vicious lover, a black-face minstrel. The guests are a vivid collection of the unruly and the undone: Queenie's conniving rival; a cocaine-sniffing bisexual playboy; a washed-up boxer; a Black brother act; a diva of indeterminate age and infinite life experience; the fresh-off-the-farm ingénue whose naïveté quickly evaporates; a lesbian actress and her comatose girlfriend; and the bargain basement Valentino who catches Queenie's roving eye. The jazz- and gin-soaked party rages to a mounting sense of threat as artifice and illusion are stripped away. When midnight debauchery leads to tragedy at dawn, the high-flying characters land with a sobering thud, reminding us that no party lasts forever.